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The Last Days
by Okk, Guardian Spirit

Sometimes being a help can be such a burden to the helper.

Orla would be shocked at my thought just now. Blasphemy, pure and utter blasphemy. I smile to myself as I envision that look on her face when she is preparing to lecture me.

"Child of Sorrow," she says, "remember the Three Basic Principles of Humility..."

A flaming sword flashes in my vision. A soft red glow erupts around me. The sword slices neatly through it. I am not injured at all, but the force of the blow and even the pain are still felt. I am quickly pulled back into the situation at hand.

The sword returns. My sword arm rises to meet it. A dull clang, and her blow is turned aside. I lunge to attack. Swipe. She dodges. Swipe. A hit. Four long glowing gashes appear across her shoulder.

Not a terrible wound, but it is a small victory nonetheless.

I sigh. This silly swordplay is tiring and seems to go nowhere. I close my eyes and utter a single word, one that I have recited thousands of times before...

A flash, and I am in another world. Nothing can be seen, heard, touched. I reach out with my senses until I find what I am searching for.

Pain. Pain at the loss of a goddess. Shame. Shame that she has allowed me to defile this temple so. Rage. Hatred. A seething, unrestrained anger at my very presence. These I snatch up eagerly. I set to work carefully weaving a weapon from the awesome power of her own soul.

I finish the task. I reach out once more. Ah, there it is. I feel her consciousness quite close to me, though she is not aware of mine. I thrust my now-unstoppable intention upon her.

Have you ever heard a soul scream in agony?
Have you ever felt an unbearable, indescribable pain that did not come from any physical injury?
That it came from YOU?

Another flash, and I am back in Time and Place. Only a moment seems to have passsed in this realm. I see her before me. She staggers. Her form wavers, then shatters and disperses with one last piercing shriek. Good riddance. I spit.

I do not mind helping. I do not mind the effort at all. Quite the opposite, it is quite rewarding, the look on a person's face as Joy returns to them. I am dismayed, however, when I see that I am the only one helping.

People are more perceptive than I give them credit. The greedy seem to be able to pinpoint exactly those few people of good intention, and exploit them...

I shrug off the thought. It makes no difference. I will continue to do what I always have, regardless. I shall not stop helping because of a few.

A cry erupts from another room, quite near, then fades away. No time to waste. I take a quick look at my surroundings. The hall is dark and silent. I spot my treasure. A small figure lies motionless near the wall. I grab him by the neck and pull him up. He looks something like a limp chicken, and quite pathetic in such a state. I tuck him under my arm, then turn to go...

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